National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

We consider a “Repair” to be any change to our weather and water hazard messaging system that could be implemented relatively quickly via policy and/or minor software change(s).

We are proposing a number of Repairs for public comment in 2016. Any operational changes would be preceded by a Service Change Notice and would be based on the nature of the feedback we receive.

The comment period for the Consolidation Effort is now closed, and analysis is underway. Thank you for your participation.

The most recently proposed Repairs are to consolidate the various “Advisory” message types for winter weather and flooding to reduce the number of WWA messages. Specifically, we propose using only the “Winter Weather Advisory” and “Flood Advisory” headlines, as shown in the figures below.  In addition, we are proposing a consolidation of our current flood watch products.

Here is a table showing how Flood Advisories would be consolidated:

Here is a table showing how Winter Advisories would be consolidated:

Here is a table showing how Flood Watches would be consolidated:

For our partners, all winter advisory products would be issued under the "WW.Y" Valid Time Event Code (VTEC), all flood advisory products would be issued under the "FA.Y" VTEC code and all flood watches would be issued under the "FA.A" VTEC code.

As part of the consolidation proposal for these hazards, we also are suggesting that we shorten and clarify the information within our text messages for improved readability and understanding.

The examples in the survey depict examples of current winter weather and flood advisories (as well as current flood watches) shown side-by-side with the proposed consolidated and condensed messages. We welcome your comments on these proposals via the two links provided just under the orange headline above.

 

OTHER REPAIR PROPOSAL UNDER CONSIDERATION: Optional Hazard Maps for Public Comment
 

The comment period for the Optional Hazard Maps is now closed, and analysis is underway. Thank you for your participation.

The first Repair proposal is to assess how we depict our hazards on national and local maps. Currently, National Weather Service (NWS) utilizes a map on its national website (www.weather.gov) to depict the wide variety of Watches, Warnings and Advisories (WWA) issued for weather, water and other hazards that impact life and property. NWS uses 122 individual Watches, Warnings, Advisories and other Statements to specify the nature of individual threats, along with their immediacy and severity.

As possible options, we have created two different types of maps for comment; both of which will feature four possible colors. On the first optional map, the Watches, warnings and advisories are converted to yellow, red and orange, respectively. Purple is assigned to certain warnings that receive “Emergency” status.

The following is a static example of how our first optional map will appear. Static map examples are also provided in the survey at the link above, but you may view live versions of the current WWA map and the two optional maps side-by-side at this link: https://www.weather.gov/crh/alt_wwa



Our second optional map also uses a four-color approach and a static example is provided below. However, this time, the colors are assigned based on our assessment of expected impact. The colors yellow, orange, red and purple are assigned to “Limited Impact”, “Moderate Impact”, “High Impact” and “Extreme Impact” respectively.

Important Note: In the case of Watches, the color is assigned based on the expected impact if the hazard was to occur.

As a general note, the direct conversion of today's suite of WWA messages to individual impacts on this map will not always be fully descriptive, as observed impacts at the local level are dependent upon a variety of factors. These factors include (but are not restricted to) community vulnerability and exposure, as well as hazard location and time of day. However, the initial purpose of making this option available for comment is to assess reaction to the idea of displaying factors other than WWA titles on a hazards map.

Click here for a listing of how we converted the current 122 colors to the 4-color system for each map option. For both options, the specific hazard message in effect will be viewable by placing your mouse over the map.

All aspects of these maps are subject to change based on the feedback we receive. For example, you may have comments on the colors we assigned for the hazards shown on the impact-based map - we welcome your feedback!

There are no plans to discontinue the current hazard map on the NWS homepage at this time. We will advertise any planned changes widely via this site, the NWS web page, and via a variety of partner and media outlets.

 

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